[Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr]

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week ten of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 15-4-3-2 (35 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat Bridgeport 3-2 before losing to the Islanders 5-2. The Bruins have two big games coming up, do not miss the action.

The hockey action starts Friday, December 16, 2022, when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Amica Mutual Pavilion. The action wraps Saturday, December 17, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. Do not miss the hard-hitting hockey action.

Friday, December 16, 2022 (HOME), and Saturday, December 17, 2022 (AWAY), Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The weekend series marks the third and fourth games of six that Providence and Lehigh Valley will play in 2022-2023. The first matchup saw the Bruins fall 4-2. Oskar Steen and Mike Reilly scored goals for Providence.

The second game in the season series saw the Bruins fall 3-2 in a shootout. Marc McLaughlin and Vinni Lettieri scored goals for Providence.

The Phantoms skate into the weekend 11-9-1-1 (24 points). That is good for sixth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia affiliate has an even goal differential on the season. Meaning they give up as many goals as they score. The Phantoms give up and net 2.90 goals a game. The Providence Bruins’ offense scores 3.04 goals a game, while their defense gives up 2.66. The Bruins were 5-1 against Lehigh Valley last season and are 11-5-0-1 against them over the past five seasons. These two games are very winnable for our boys in black and gold. I expect them to come out of the weekend with four points.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Luke Toporowski has been excellent in his first season with the Providence Bruins. One could argue he’s been their best player thus far. In 23 games, the young forward has nine goals while dishing out nine assists for 18 total points. His goal total ranks third amongst AHL rookies, and his point total ranks fourth amongst AHL rookies. Toporowski is on an AHL-only contract, but if he keeps up this play, that could change.

Georgii Merkulov is another player playing his first season with the Providence Bruins. In 21 games, he’s found the back of the net five times while dishing out 11 assists for 16 total points. The young forward is another player having a fast start for the Providence offense. Look for him to keep it up this weekend.

Brandon Bussi is another Providence Bruins rookie having an excellent season. The young goalie started the season with Maine in the ECHL but has played in ten games with the Providence Bruins, going 7-1-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. Look for him this weekend.

The Providence Bruins are playing some excellent hockey. The games are fun and exciting. Our boys in black and gold are setting themselves up nicely to be in playoff contention. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. Go, Bruins!